The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety has approved a $9 million contract to upgrade its electronic equipment, bringing it up to state-of-the-art standards. This upgrade is much needed as its patrol car mounted cameras are 20 years old and its body cams are seven years old, making them outdated in terms of technology. Chief Dave Boysen pointed out that the age of the equipment has made it difficult to find parts and maintain reliability.
In addition to the outdated technology, the department is nearly at capacity for data retention. To address this issue, they will be transitioning to the cloud to handle the video data coming from the 219 body cams and 61 car cams they use. The new system will also incorporate a feature that activates the camera automatically when an officer draws their gun or Taser, improving the functionality of the equipment.
One of the department’s priorities is to replace their Tasers with new models, especially as the weather gets colder. The 10-year contract with Axon Enterprises includes training programs, regular maintenance, equipment upgrades, and unlimited data storage. Last week, the deal was approved by commissioners, ensuring that the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety will have reliable and up-to-date technology for years to come.